And a few of my Lean Legs girls have asked me if apple cider vinegar is actually beneficial for weight loss.
So in this blog post, I’ll tell you more about apple cider vinegar and if it really helps with weight loss.
WHAT IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
Apple cider vinegar is actually a product of a two-step fermentation process.
In the first part of the process, apples are being crushed and mixed with yeast in order to get alcohol from sugars. And in the second part, the alcohol gets fermented into acetic acid by adding bacteria.
This acetic acid is what gives strong taste and characteristic odour to apple cider vinegar.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR WEIGHT LOSS – DOES IT REALLY HELP AND HOW?
Apple cider vinegar may help keep your gut healthy. And a healthy gut is essential for your whole body, especially if you want to lose weight.
I need to get a bit technical here but it is important if you want to understand the effects of apple cider vinegar on your weight. Stay with me, guys! :)
GUT HEALTH AND WEIGHT LOSS
Your body contains more bacterial cells than any other type of cells. These bacteria, good and bad, are primarily located in your intestines.
Bad bacteria can cause disease and you need the good bacteria to keep you healthy.
These bacteria have a major effect on how your food is digested, how your body stores fat and whether you feel hungry or full. And all these factors can affect your weight.
HOW GUT BACTERIA AFFECTS FOOD DIGESTION, FAT STORAGE AND APPETITE
Dietary fiber keeps you feeling full for longer. If you eat more fiber, you’ll probably notice that you feel less hungry.
But, you see, we cannot digest dietary fiber unless our gut is healthy and it has enough of the good bacteria.
And why it is important to digest fiber?
Digesting fiber is important because it produces certain chemicals that seem to help with fat burning and with reducing fat storage. And they also may stimulate release of hormones that regulate our appetite.
So these chemicals (short-chain fatty acids) may help with fat burning and with feeling fuller.
OK, but what does it have to do with apple cider vinegar?
GUT HEALTH AND APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar appears to inhibit the enzymes that help you digest starch. And why is this important?
Well, you see, undigested starch seems to have a prebiotic effect. This means that undigested starch becomes food for the good bacteria in your gut. And when the good bacteria are well-fed, so to speak, these microorganisms are more likely to keep your gut in good health.
And as I mentioned earlier, good gut health is very important for your whole organism and especially if you want to lose weight.
So to summarise:
- Apple cider vinegar inhibits the enzymes that help you digest starch.
- Undigested starch becomes food for the good bacteria in your gut.
- Good bacteria affect your digestion, how full or hungry you feel, and even how you store fat.
But that’s not all.
ACETIC ACID FROM APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND WEIGHT LOSS
I mentioned that the main active component of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. This acid is also a short-chain fatty acid.
And as I just explained, these chemicals seem to play an important part in fat burning, fat storage and appetite regulation.
However, I should also mention, that a lot of the studies that examine the effects of short-chain fatty acids on weight loss have been done on animals and not humans. But still, they seem promising.
And another important thing you should know is that the acetic acid, found in apple cider vinegar, is also found in all other vinegars.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN YOU LOSE DRINKING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
One study showed that people who consumed apple cider vinegar for three months on a daily basis lost some weight and reduced belly fat:
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon) => Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms.
- 30 mL (2 tablespoons) => Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms.
Now while this a good indication that apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss, you need to factor in diet and lifestyle as well.
You are far more likely to get good results if you eat healthy and exercise :)
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF DRINKING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
Like with every other food or drink, consuming too much apple cider vinegar can cause problems.
If you have too much of it or you don’t dilute it when drinking it, you may experience some of these unpleasant effects:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Problems with blood sugar regulation
- Low potassium
- Tooth decay – due to the high level of acid found in apple cider vinegar.
SHOULD I TAKE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – IS IT SAFE FOR EVERYONE?
While there is not a huge amount of research about long-term safety and side effects, it seems that apple cider vinegar is relatively safe for most people to take.
However, if you have diabetes or low potassium levels, you should consult with your doctor first before adding apple cider vinegar to their diet.
If you have digestive issues such as food intolerances, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or anything similar, you should also talk to your doctor.
CAN I DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR EVERY DAY? AND WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TAKE IT?
Yes, you can, but it’s important not to overdo it or you may suffer some of those nasty side effects that I mentioned earlier.
A safe amount that you should be able to manage every day is 15-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) before meals to assist with digestion and weight loss.
Also, if you are going to drink it, you need to make sure to dilute it with water. Otherwise, you will burn your throat and the inside of your mouth.
Mixing it in a full glass of water makes the taste and strength much more bearable. Some people like to combine a spoonful of honey with their apple cider vinegar and water mixture.
Due to the high level of acid, it may cause problem tooth problems so you may like to use a straw when you drink it. You should also consider rinsing your mouth out after taking it.
Another option is using apple cider vinegar on your salads as an alternative to dressing or vinaigrette. But again, you don’t want to pour it straight on your salad as it will be too strong. You should mix it with some virgin olive oil before putting it on.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
One important thing to remember is that apple cider vinegar is not a magic tool for losing weight. While it may help with losing weight, diet and exercise are still the essential for weight loss.
Love Rachel xx